The Chowmahalla Palace is located in the vibrant and bustling lanes of Motigalli, Hyderabad. Sheltered from the din of the great city it loves and serves, the Chowmahalla Palace is a sanctuary for the eyes and the soul. In the modern day, it’s one of the rare spaces where for however briefly, it’s possible to stay longer than you should. Move through the sprawling lawns and the marvellous structures at your own pace, take a gulp of air sanctified by time, allow yourself to be bewitched by the splendours of the lifestyles and achievements of the Nizams of Hyderabad.
Construction of the Chowmahalla Palace started during the reign of Nawab Salabath Jung, the third son of Asaf jah I around 1751 AD. When Nizam Ali Khan Asaf Jah II shifted the ruling capital from Aurangabad, in what is now Maharashtra, to Hyderabad. in 1663 He added many Mahals during his reign.+
The Chowmahalla (four palaces) stand symmetrically opposite to each other, around a large cistern of water, forming a protective enclave of grandeur and historic connection. The buildings were functional as a combination of living quarters for the royal families, zenanas for the women, grand halls for regular public audiences and other administrative buildings. Successive Nizams expanded and renovated the Chau Mahalla palaces, introducing new buildings to the area. Originally, the total area of the complex was 45 acres. Over time, it has become a compact 12 acres, comprising of the new Khilwat Mubarak, the four palaces – Afzal Mahal, Aftab Mahal, Mehtab Mahal and Tahniyat Mahal, a grand Clock Tower, a Buggy Khaana which stores the splendid vehicles used by the Nizams, and an assortment of other buildings and heritage structures.+
Fascinated by Persian architecture, the new Khilwat Mubarak was commissioned by HEH Mir Osman Ali Khan Asaf Jah VII in 1912 and completed in 1916. Today, the Chowmahalla Palace stands as a testament to the possibilities of a strong connection to the past and an even stronger sense of responsibility for the present and the future. With the unwavering support of Princess Esra Birgen Jah, the Palace is now a restored cultural oasis in the heart of Hyderabad. It is the state’s only Palace to have been decorated with UNESCO’s 2010 Award of Merit, in addition to being awarded the prestigious INTACH Heritage Award twice.+
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